Sea eagle spotted at Tentsmuir

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SCOTTISH Natural Heritage’s Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve has seen a recent influx of visitors – of the feathered variety.

Geese and ducks usually spend the winter at Tentsmuir, but the last few weeks have seen a much bigger visitor, much to the delight of local people.

A sea eagle, also known as a white tailed eagle, has been seen at the SNH reserve recently.

The bird has wing tags marked with a red ‘T’ which identify it as one of the east coast sea eagle reintroduction birds released this year.

The young male was released in August and is spending its first Scottish year visiting sites in Fife, from Methil to the Firth of Tay.

The coastal part of the north east Fife reserve has also seen around 400 pink footed geese arriving to enjoy our balmy temperatures, unlike the current freezing climate back in Iceland and Greenland where they spend the summer.

DELICATE

At the Morton Lochs part of the reserve there is a smew, a small diving duck with a delicate bill.

Males are white with a black face mask and a black back, while females are greyish with a browny reddish head and white cheek patches.

Although they are not rare, they are quite unusual in Scotland.

If the weather is bad in Scandinavia and Russia they can move to our shores for better conditions.

The annual winter accumulation of teal, another duck, has now reached over 800 birds and for lovers of swans, the lochs have eight mute swan cygnets.

Tom Cunningham, SNH’s reserve manager at Tentsmuir, said: “All the other usual visitors at this time of year are around, including large groups of wildfowl and waders and plenty of eider ducks, as well as the seals.”